The fun started for me earlier in the week when I realised somebody had stolen my race licence (It must have been stolen as, like most blokes, I never lose or misplace things myself). I’ve got a spare (thank you BC coaching for the tip) so no major panic. However, I ordered another one from BC just to be on the safe side, but as that was being sent to my club secretary, they emailed me a temporary copy. So, when the much esteemed Mrs Jackson handed me back my original licence at the HQ, it meant I now had four. Pillock...
4 groups last night I think with a combined 4&5. Plenty of Wrekinsport interest including White Lines, Del and Steve, John, Pink Karen, Surveyor John and a gost appearance for The Guest. No, wait… a guest appearance from The Gos.
The race started and, as you might expect, there was much riding around in large Cannock based circles at ill-advised speeds. This is nature of the road race league.
Many of you will know Del Jones, my club mate and man on his day capable of knocking out a 20 min 10 mile time trial. Seeing a rider doing his turn on the front Del smoothly went round him to take his turn, ably demonstrating the ‘through’ part of well know if little used ‘through and off’ technique. The fact he did the next 12 miles on his own at 24mph indicates we have some work to do on the ‘off’ bit. In all seriousness, brave stuff and a great effort from him.
The third lap saw Group 3 split by a tractor and trailer on fast descent. Most of us managed to get round it but it meant a chase back on for some including yours truly. My computer showed 66.1 kph so it was pretty quick and I'm sure some were a lot quicker than me. I think I had the privilege of towing the leading junior Ben Manfield (Wolverhampton Wheelers) across the gap so he definitely owes me a coffee.
I went past The Gos on the back straight and told him he was looking in good form. He said that was only because he was going downhill. I would have chuckled but I couldn’t spare the air. A slightly harsh self-assessment of a good ride by him I feel. Well done mate.
G3 caught hold of a combined G1&2 on the 4th of 6 laps to be joined by a combined G4&5 with three quarters of a lap to go. As the pace went up there was another split on the climb which a few of us found ourselves on the wrong side of. I knew where I should’ve been but my old legs wouldn’t get me there. Just off the back, Andy Jones (Wolverhampton Wheelers) and I shared the effort to chase back on (again) and join the blunt end of the race (again). We even had a little celebration when we got there.
The usual suspects were up at the sharp end. The race was won by a Corley Cycles rider, closely followed by Mr Jones Snr (Stans )in the red jersey with current race leader Dave Starkey (Lord) in 4th surrounded by an assortment of other cycling luminaries included Jord Bason of Wyndy Milla. Top work fast people.
Quick plug for my team (GBTx) all in training for the World Transplant Games in South Africa this July. This week, we’ve have two PB’s and Ottilie Quince, the current British, European and World Tx champion hammering the Herne Hill and Welwyn women’s omniums (omnia?). The road race league and grass roots events like it country wide are vital preparation for me and my team so, as always, big thanks to the riders, supporters and tireless organisers and volunteers. Follow us on Twitter @GBTxCyclists if you want to know more and learn some bad language.
As a final thought on a fantastic evenings racing, I had to go past Commissaire Watts’ twice last night, proving beyond all reasonable doubt that I’m faster than a Mini.
All good stuff. My favourite of series so far I think. See you next week at Eaton Constantine for the Stans – Paramount race.
Top notch picture courtesy of Ben Lawrence (Stans - Paramount) with more of them on Facebook if you ask him nicely. Thanks Ben, excellent work.